New Google Ad Formats For Mobile – Digital News Roundup – 17.05.19
It’s Friday, the sun is shining (well, here anyway) and it’s time for more digital news. This week we’re talking about new Google Ads, restrictions to Facebook live streaming, Spotify’s new Storylines, controversy around AI, and the latest Twitter bug.
Google announces new ad formats for mobiles
Google has announced a range of new ad types this week, including some that “interrupt the core Google search and discovery experiences”.
On mobile, users will start to see “gallery” ads, allowing advertisers to “display multiple images for users to swipe through”. According to Google ad chief Prabhakar Raghavan, gallery ads resulted in “up to 25 percent more interactions” than traditional search ads during testing, which could mean another move towards increasing visuals on mobile SERPs.
Users will also begin to see ads within Google’s discover feed for the first time, though they’ll only appear in select places for now. The discover feed, the area of news stories that you find built into a lot of Android home screens, inside the Google app, and on Google’s mobile homepage, will show ads like other organic stories, although they’ll have a small “ad” badge to help differentiate them from other content.
According to Google, the new ad formats are “meant to make ads a lot more noticeable”, with the new options rolling out over the coming year. Read more on the story over at The Verge.
Facebook imposes restrictions on live-streaming following New Zealand terror attack
Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would start restricting live streaming on the platform following the white nationalist terrorist attacks in New Zealand earlier this year.
Facebook has said that it will be launching a “one strike” policy to Facebook Live, banning users who “violate the platform’s community standards once from using the live-streaming service for set periods of time”. Users would also be banned from live streaming if they post harmful links on their profile, such as content which leads to a terrorist website.
“Our goal is to minimise risk of abuse on Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity said in a blog post. These plans for minimising risk will soon be extending, with the same users who violate Facebook’s Community Standards being banned from creating ads in the future as well.
The announcement comes after Facebook was criticised for allowing a white nationalist terrorist to stream the New Zealand terror attacks, and for not removing copies of the video “at a fast enough pace”. As another positive move, Facebook will also be partnering with researchers and universities to “improve the platform’s image and video analysis technology”. Check out more on the restrictions over at The Verge.
Urban facial recognition tech to be outlawed in San Francisco
This week saw San Francisco become the first jurisdiction in the US to “ban facial recognition surveillance technology”, meaning that its transport and police departments are banned from using the tool.
City legislators decided to take this hardline stance and restrict the purchase of new forms of surveillance technology unless it’s approved in advance. Adoption of the technology caused an uprising of fear, due to concerns that the current solution is unreliable. People also raised fears that it creates an “unacceptable infringement on individual liberty and privacy” – although San Francisco police currently do not employ facial recognition tools as a whole.
San Francisco’s move follows a call by Microsoft prompting governments to “do more to regulate the technology”, with civil liberties campaigners calling for other cities to follow suit with a ban of their own. Take a look at more on the news over at The Drum.
Spotify launches Storylines, offering BTS information from artists
Spotify is testing a new feature called Storyline, which gives you behind-the-scenes information from artists about their songs.
The information is presented like an Instagram Story, with a carousel of cards featuring a combination of text and images that you can tap through.
Storylines come directly from the artists themselves, unlike the existing Behind the Lyrics cards which are provided via a third-party partnership. Not only could this be cheaper than paying a third-party company, but it could also mean that there’s less scope for incorrect information to be shared.
It’s been spotted that the feature is only available on a select number of songs at the moment, including tracks by the Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish. It’s currently testing on iOS and Android, although it’s not available to all users yet – with no confirmation from Spotify on when a full roll-out will occur. Take a look at some examples over at The Verge.
Twitter admits bug which disclosed users’ location data to a partner
Twitter has announced that its social platform was “affecting the privacy of some of its iOS app’s users”, specifically regarding collecting and sharing data.
According to the site, the bug only happened when users had more than one account on their iOS app, and when they had allowed Twitter to access location data on one of those accounts. The bug meant that Twitter may have “accidentally collected location data” for accounts on the same device which did not have the location feature enabled. This information would then be shared with a “trusted partner” relating to real-time ad bidding.
“We have confirmed with our partner that the location data has not been retained and that it only existed in their systems for a short time, and was then deleted as part of their normal process,” explained Twitter in a statement, going on to say that anyone with accounts which may have been impacted have been contacted to let them know.
This is the fourth bug that Twitter has announced this year – will it be the last? Read more on the story over at Digital Marketing Magazine.
Photo storage app Ever caught using people’s images to train its AI
Ever, a photo storage app, has been found “secretly using customers’ private snaps to train a commercial recognition system” – following converting into a facial recognition software venture in 2017.
The photos users share on Ever, which started as a cloud storage app back in 2013, are being used to train the company’s new facial recognition system – Ever AI. Then, Ever offers to sell the tech to law enforcement and military, helping them to essentially build up surveillance technology.
And just like that, your digital news reserves are all topped out. Head back next week for more, or read some of our latest blogs to keep you busy in the meantime.
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